Zika Propaganda : Zika virus may spread to Europe this summer
Zika virus may spread to Europe this summer
ZIKA 18 MAY 16 by EMILY REYNOLDS
The Zika virus, which has mainly affected areas of central and South America, may spread to Europe this summer, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.
But the organisation also stressed the overall risk was “low to moderate”, and was more likely to occur in countries where the Aedes mosquito was present.
“The new evidence published today tells us that there is a risk of spread of Zika virus in the European region, and that this risk varies from country to country,” said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO regional director of Europe. “With this risk assessment, WHO wants to inform and target preparedness work in each European country based on its level of risk.”
“We call particularly on countries at higher risk to strengthen their national capacities and prioritise the activities that will prevent a large Zika outbreak.”
The assessment took into consideration two factors: the likelihood of the virus spreading and the “existing national capacity to prevent or contain local transmission”.
Countries and areas at highest risk included Russia, Georgia and the Portuguese island of Madeira. France, Spain and Italy received a “moderate” warning. The risk in the UK was described as “low”.
WHO recommended a number of preventative measures to countries at high risk, including strengthening activities to prevent the spread of mosquitos, equipping health professionals to detect transmission of Zika and to ensure that communities “reduce mosquito breeding sites”.
“We stand ready to support European countries on the ground in case of Zika outbreaks,” said Nedret Emiroglu, Director of the Communicable Diseases and Health Security Division, WHO Regional Office for Europe.
“Our support to countries in the region to prepare for and respond to health risks such as Zika is a key aspect of the reform of WHO’s work in emergencies.”